Sunday, April 25, 2010

do you patio?

Oh,’s that time of year!

The time of year, when we all flock outside when there is a sunny day. Time when our eyes can barely adjust to the brightness, but it feels so good to squint. Time where we actually start to remember what it feels like to be in flipflops. Time to think about enjoying a bbq and perhaps a favorite drink or two while relaxing in our outdoor space.

Time to clean off your deck or patio to get rid of winter’s remains. Time to pull out all your hastily-stored patio furniture. And time to…uh-oh…time to realize that things are looking a bit boring, plain and tired…?

Not to worry! This is the very best time of year to do something about it! As with all the new and wonderful outdoor furniture (see last year’s blog), there are new and wonderful outdoor accessories to give your space an instant boost.

Check out beautiful cushions and throw pillows made from weather-proof fabrics, a huge selection of acrylic pitchers, glasses, plates, bowls and serving trays. Some of these are so lovely, you may consider picking up a few to use inside all year round! Try a fun and colorful vinyl tablecloth to spruce up your table.

And don’t forget some solar lights or lanterns to add ambience to your outdoor evening adventures. Add some life with a few strategically placed plants in chic new planters.

A little something unexpected adds a nice touch of whimsy too (although I was kidding about the garden gnome...they are creepy). You may also want to think about grabbing a propane heater to extend your patio time this season...all last year models are on sale now!

The best part is that none of this will cost you very much. All of the beauties pictured here are available at either Canadian Tire or Tag.

For more about rouge, visit or check out past blogs at www.justalittlerouge/

Saturday, April 17, 2010

giving you props

The monthly meeting for Home Stager’s Atlantic was held last week at Props Floral Design (1664 Granville Street /

I can’t tell you what a treat it was to walk into the shop on such a grey, dreary and cold day. My spirits lifted immediately when I entered into the world of light and freshness surrounded by incredibly beautiful colors.

It’s an amazing feeling to step into the world of living, breathing flowers.

Props has been in Halifax for 13 years. And they handle more than 40 weddings a year…not to mention a number of other special events. They also do rentals if you are looking for vases and other items for a limited time.

We covered a lot of information, tips and tricks over the course of the evening. But there was one major theme…and that is how you can make a big impact with simple things. The key lesson of the night was repetition, repetition, repetition.

A few ideas for you to try out:

•Tulips and lily grass are a wonderful sign of spring. As tulips naturally tend to flop over, use that to your advantage. In fact, take them out of water for a few hours so they are soft and easier to work with. Then bend them, along with a little bit of lily grass and place them down inside a fish bowl vase. Fill with water and enjoy!

•You can cut of the head of almost any flower and float them in your vase. My favorite, the gerbera daisy, is a great choice for this. Try two or three short, wide glass vessels and put one flower head in each. Add a few rocks on the bottom and some lily grass…and voila! This will last about a week or so.

•I really dislike carnations, but was won over by a simple carnation display that surprised me. You take 3 small square flower pots of different size, full them with a square of green floral sponge (soaked), cut down the flower stems to approx 3 inches and stick them in the sponge. Place them in really close together so that none of the sponge is showing. Using an intense color of flower rally makes this little display pop. This will last 2-3 weeks.

Here are some of the highlights:

•Use a big vase to make a statement.
•Vase jewelry (a silver rim with dangling jewels that slides over the rim of your vase) is available in a variety of sizes, if you want to add some glam to your flowers.
•Instead of mixing flowers and colors, use the same flower in the same color. Whether is a bunch or just a few, your flowers will have more impact this way.
•You don’t need to add greenery to your arrangements. If you choose to, keep it simple and use one type sparingly.
•The best type of greenery is lily grass. It’s cheap, long-lasting, and the most flexible to use in a number of different ways.
•Daisies are cheap, come in lots of great colors, look wonderful on their own in a large bunch and will last about 3 weeks.
•You can also submerge any flower for a beautiful, simple and stunning look. Uplighting your vase really makes this type of arrangement sizzle. (uplighting that can fit under almost any tall cylinder vase is reasonably priced at Props)
•Monastery leaves make for great foliage.

And a few tip & tricks:

•Use Polident Denture tabs to clean your vases. Yup…that’s right. Drop a couple of tabs in a dirty vase with fresh water and let it sit. Watch as your vase – even all the little hard to reach parts – suddenly sparkles.
•Don’t use flower food to extend the life of your flowers. Instead, keep your water fresh and clean by replacing it every day or two get the most out of your flowers.
•To assess the freshness of your flowers, feel them. Just like fruit. If they are rubbery and “squeaky” then they are fresh and will last the longest.
•If your foliage is rubbery, it will last. If it is woody, it will not.
•Always use a knife to cut fresh ends on your flowers. Never use scissors.
•Except for anything on a branch, then you should smash the ends of the branches before putting them in water.

And the best tip of them all? It’s one of the city’s best kept secrets…Props has “Cheap Flower Fridays”. Just as it sounds, Props sells off flowers for a small fraction of the regular price every just depends on what is plentiful in the shop that week.

So go on, treat yourself to some flowers…and don’t be afraid to try out all kinds of arrangements and displays. It will lift your spirits and you may surprise yourself!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

eye candy

Have you heard about yet?

Probably…but bear with me. I absolutely love this site.

And not because Oprah talked about it. And not because Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan. And definitely not because Martha Stewart has also given it two thumbs up.

I love this site for so many reasons…it’s my eye candy. I’m not ashamed to admit it.

And it’s really inspiring.

Billed as “the sourcebook for the considered home”, it’s full of the most beautiful pictures and well written information. It’s got a daily posting, you can browse by room if you are looking for ideas for a specific room in your home, you can shop by category – accessories, hardware, furniture, kitchen ware, lighting, fabrics and linens -- and so much more.

My most favorite sections of the site are the “steal this look” section and editor’s picks.

Check it out. I’m sure it will soon become one of your favorites. Just don’t hold me responsible if you find yourself spending a lot of extra time in front of the computer…

Saturday, April 3, 2010

one of my favorite places...

Here is a little peek into one of my favorite places…

It’s called Antiques Plus and it’s about a 40 minute drive from where I grew up in Northern New Brunswick. Each time I visit my folks (as I am this long weekend), we take a mini road trip to spend some time here. And I could spend a lot of time here.

This place is huge. By huge, I mean the largest antiques store in Atlantic Canada. I mean approx 28,000 square feet. This used to be an old poultry farm. Now, it’s filled with wonderful antiques and collectables from all over the world. Clean, tidy and well-organized, it’s a great place to roam…and to wonder about where things came from and the stories each piece must carry.

Tables, chairs of all shapes and sizes, armoires, bed frames, dressers, vanities, cabinets and more in a large variety of styles. Antique and vintage dishes and glassware, jewlery, records, lamps, frames, stained glass windows, radios, and an unending list of other antiques and collectables.

Regular readers of just a little rouge will know that many of my “finds” from here have ended up on the pages of this blog…my favorite bedside lamps, the antique frame that now houses my jewelry, some of my collection of milk glass, and the teacup and saucer that are exactly like my Grammy had, all came from Antiques Plus.

Today, there were more great "finds". I added to my collection of milk glass with a lovely little jar and my mom bought pretty vintage white cloth napkins.

I also have my next project all picked out. I spied a fantastic settee. In the spirit of my love of adding a modern twist to an older traditional item, I’m envisioning this piece – that’s in wonderful shape – with a high gloss black finish and gray velvet upholstery. It will be absolutely divine in my living room.

My only hope is that it hasn’t been scooped up before my folks can go back to pick it up in the van before their next trip to Halifax in May…but, like any other wonderful place offering one of a kind pieces, I know I’m taking my chances…

I wonder if we have time to go back tomorrow...hmmmmm.

If you ever find yourself in the area, be sure to stop in. I promise it's worth it. The street address is 26 Quinn Road, Belledune, NB. It’s opened in the off season on Saturdays and Sundays only, so plan accordingly.

And, if you get lost, just ask anyone in the area…they’ll be sure to know where it is.